Interact, engage or partner? Working with the private sector for the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases

Téa Collins, Bente Mikkelsen, Svetlana Axelrod


Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), including cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes, account for 72% of all global deaths, with 78% of all NCDs taking place in low- and middle-income countries. Among these four main groups of NCDs, CVDs are taking the highest death toll at 17.9 million or 44% of all NCD mortality. This paper suggests that the complex interplay of NCD risk factors and their underlying social and commercial determinants requires active cooperation with the private sector to bring about policy change, pool resources and generate innovative solutions by capitalizing on each partner’s strengths. However, such partnerships can only be successful if safeguards are in place to define the rules of engagement, align incentives to achieve shared public health objectives and manage potential conflicts of interest.

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